Huawei Won't Be a Big Player in the U.S. Mobile Market: 10 Reasons Why

By Don Reisinger  |  Posted 2013-06-18 Print this article Print

5. It would be untenable to work with Huawei

If Huawei delivered smartphones to the United States, it currently seems unlikely that many North American mobile carriers would actually stock its smartphones. The carriers already have plenty of different device models to offer customers. Why would they want to become ensnared in national security worries just to offer one more smartphone brand? The chances are no carrier would partner with Huawei on its devices.

6. Its best customers are leaving

Let’s not forget that Huawei does more than just build smartphones. In fact, the company’s main business is telecom gear. Now its best U.S. customer, Level 3 Communications, is reportedly looking to move on to another provider. If Huawei’s best U.S. customer is leaving, what makes anyone think it’ll succeed in other telecom market segments?

7. The smartphones are solid, but not groundbreaking

Huawei’s smartphones are certainly nice products with sound features that would put them in strong contention with mid-range devices, but to say that the company is a true competitor to Apple and Samsung worldwide is laughable. For now, Huawei’s devices have proven to be solid, but not groundbreaking. And until it can do something groundbreaking, Huawei wouldn’t have a chance in the United States.

8. The end-to-end game plan doesn’t work in the U.S.

Huawei’s success has been due in large part to its ability to deliver full end-to-end product lines in markets around the globe. What that means is that the company is delivering everything from the smartphones on up to the network technology that the phones connect to. In the United States, controlling the entire cell phone environment wouldn’t work with regulators, making the company’s business model unworkable.

9. It’s unproven outside of China

Despite attempts to expand its smartphone operation outside of China and Asia, Huawei’s efforts haven’t proven fruitful. Huawei is definitely a force to be reckoned with in China, but elsewhere around the world, it’s yet to prove that it understands Western consumers. Huawei hasn’t demonstrated that it can appeal to consumers in both markets even if it were given the chance to compete in the United States.

10. Who knows how China’s government will respond?

There’s another issue at play that hasn’t been considered: how will China’s government respond not only to Huawei’s attempts to move into the United States, but also the way the company has been treated by lawmakers? As we’ve seen, China’s government has an inordinate amount of power over Chinese enterprises. However, any involvement on the part of the Chinese government would hurt Huawei and its relations in the United States. Since China seems to have so much interest in the United States, it would seem more than possible for the government to get involved in some way. In other words, it’s a powder keg and nobody likes to be close to something that might blow up in their face.

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